Belfast Telegraph

Group sells off regionals to save Guardian

By kelly Macnamara

Guardian Media Group yesterday announced the sale of the Manchester Evening News to Trinity Mirror.

National and regional newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has bought the MEN as part of a £44.8m deal for most of the Guardian's regional papers and associated websites.

The decision to sell the flagship Manchester newspaper means Guardian Media Group (GMG) has now cut most of its ties with its historic home city.

The group, which is owned by the Scott Trust, said it had decided to sell the regional titles to help it achieve its mandate to ‘secure the future of the Guardian in perpetuity’.

GMG Regional Media publishes a total of 32 newspapers and related websites — 22 titles in the north west as part of MEN Media and 10 in the south including the Surrey Advertiser and Reading Post.

Carolyn McCall, chief executive of Guardian Media Group, said: “The Manchester Evening News and its sister titles have made a huge contribution to the fortunes of the group for the best part of a century.

“GMG would like to pay tribute to all the staff for their hard work and achievement in a sector dealing with structural change as well as economic downturn.”

She said Trinity Mirror, as the UK's biggest regional publisher, was ‘best placed’ to develop the business.

The regional group posted an operating profit of zero in the 12 months to December and has gross assets of £8.7m.

Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey said it was ‘a perfect strategic fit’ for the group.

The Manchester Guardian was founded by John Edward Taylor in 1821 and became a daily in 1855.

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